Pat Testing Fact Or Fiction

Everybody is familiar with the green stickers covering plugs in offices and public places across the UK, New Zealand and Australia. With retailers such as Harrods and Selfridges requiring all electrical items to be tested before the installation of a pop up store, Opulous has never tested more in a year. PAT testing is an important part of any health & safety policy and essential to avoiding electrical incidents. This blog will help to bust the many myths and misunderstandings surrounding portable appliance testing – who should do it, how often, why it is done, and whether it is the law.

What is PAT testing?

Portable appliance testing is the term used to describe the examination, inspection and testing of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they’re safe to be used. If it is electrical and has a plug on it, whether it is in regular use or not, then it must be maintained safely. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination from a competent person, however internal defects can only be found by testing with a PAT test meter. A simple user check by the person using an appliance can be a very useful part of the appliance’s maintenance regime, ensuring that damaged to items can be reported, repaired or replaced. Although the green stickers are not essential, they make the job of identifying an item that have passed the testing easier, they also indicate when the next pat testing is due.


Should I PAT test every year?

The common myth is that portable appliance testing should be carried out annually. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. Whilst, there is no regulation surrounding what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently, it is common places for insurance companies to set boundaries regarding this. For example, equipment that is used regularly should be tested more frequently. The type of equipment is another major factor in determining PAT testing frequency as hand held appliances are more likely to become damaged than those that are stationary. Class one appliances such as irons and kettles, carry the greatest risk of danger and should be tested more often.


Who should carry out PAT testing?

Whilst the visual inspection can be carried out by a competent member of staff in low risk environments. When undertaking a combined inspection and testing, a greater level of knowledge and experience is required. To carry out a portable appliance examination the electrician will need to have the correct equipment and understanding of how to carry out the testing correctly. In addition, they will need to be able to decipher the results, to ensure that the appliance has passed the testing.


What does Opulous offer?

Here at Opulous, PAT testing is one of the many services that we offer for retailers across London, our aim is to fit in around your stores schedule. Get in touch with our team to book an onsite visit.

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